HIS-Press-Service, 1976 (1. évfolyam, 1. szám)

1976 / 1. szám

HIS Press-Service, A Review of 1976 Page 3 been achieved between these two parties continue to develop positively. Adherence to the already achieved agreements can only work for the benefit of all involved. The faithful can thus rest assured - as was encouragingly emphasized in the report - that they will be allowed to exercise their religion freely and without concern for reprisals. This enables the faithful, headed by their spiritual leaders, to take an active part alongside non-believers in the responsibility-laden task of building up the country. The faithful will of course in turn show respect for the Weltanschauung of their Marxian countrymen." The conviction that Lékai's intended pastoral reforms would succeed could also be found in the columns of foreign newspapers. Alone the government prestige at stake here was sufficient cause for optimistic predictions. There was a time, it must be remembered, when at meetings it was the Hungarian leaders involved in church politics who continually brought up the "unsolved Mindszenty question" in order to postpone a solution to pastoral problems. The Mindszenty question has now been solved and the Hungarian hierarchy is at full strength; there is no reason anymore for continuing to defer a solution to these problems. Pragmatism Determines Present Government Church Politics Only one year has passed since Lékai's enthronement - too short a time to factually tell whether the Hungarian Primate has succeeded or failed in effecting a change in the life of Hungary's Church. In asking about changes, it must be remembered that in Hungary the actual possibility for changes is quite limited. There does not exist the smallest hope or need in Hungary for reintroducing the role held by the Church in public life during the so-called Catholic era or for giving back to the Church the large tracts of land it once owned. Less clear cut, however - at least for the Church - is the present situation of the nation­alized Church schools and other institutions. The position of the State is un­equivocal: The nationalizations which took place did not constitute a persecution of the Church but were simply political actions whose appropriateness has been proved by history. It is another fixed standpoint of government church politics that the present Church can under no circumstances be allowed such an extensive amount of independence that she would be in a position to use it to start a Kulturkampf against the State in the event of a possible future conflict. According to opinions stemming from official Hungarian Sources, the agreement reached with the Vatican has proven the aptness and practicality of this political approach. The above-mentioned positions are some of the basic factors of present Hungarian church politics about which no speculation on possible changes is permitted. It was in connection with these and similar restrictions and measures of the